Fuel your body during COVID-19: Easy Veggie Soup with Sausage – (use old veggies that look ugly/go bad)

the veg

Hello everyone. Yup I had a fridge full of the ugly veggies that I took pictures of for my previous fuel your body post. I wanted to do something with them, so I decided to make it easy on myself and make a veggie sausage soup. You can totally make this vegan with no sausage, but with my family of pre teens they will riot if I don’t feed them.

I had onions, carrots, cellary that was starting to look wilting, and one stalk even looked a little anemic. I had tomatoes that were not firm any more, bell peppers that were wrinkly and not as beautiful, and a staple in my house Yukon Gold potatoes. I had one container of chicken stock, but you can sub veggie stock to make it vegetarian/vegan.

Our stores still don’t have all the products we are used to. Our shipping is over loaded. So I bought what was on sale, and what I could find. When I got home I realized I bought beer bratwurst. So I just went with it.

This recipe can be altered to be:

  1. Vegetarian/Vegan

This recipe is:

  1. Gluten Free (unless you make the bred below)
  2. Dairy Free
  3. Full of Fiber
  4. Full of nutrients
  5. Low in fat
  6. Low in salt

Anyway it came out fantastic. So here is what I did.


Easy Veggie Soup with Sausage

Ingredients:

Yield: 8 servings

  1. 4 cups of stock Chicken/Veggie your preference
  2. 4 really ripe soft tomatoes chopped
  3. 4 cups of Yukon Gold potatoes chopped
  4. 2 cups of carrots chopped
  5. 4 stalks of celery chopped even the leafy tops
  6. 1 yellow onion chopped
  7. 2 green bell peppers or 2 cups chopped
  8. 1 tablespoon of ginger sliced about the top part of your thumb worth of ginger
  9. 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  10. 2 cups of water
  11. 1 tablespoon of salt
  12. Pepper to taste
  13. Beer Bratwurst 5 casing cut removed and sauteed

Directions:

  1. Saute onions, ginger till fragrant, add meat that has been removed from casing, and saute till cooked.
  2. Add hard veggies and the rest of the aromatics, carrots, potatoes, garlic, and celery. Stir together to heat.
  3. Add stock, and water, bring to a boil and lower heat to medium. Let cook for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Add soft veggies tomatoes, and peppers. Let cook another 10 minutes.
  5. Serve piping hot. I made home made bread with it, and the family gobbled it up. It made enough to have it for two nights with 4 people.

I will put a link to the bread recipe I used. It is a no knead dough, that uses yeast.

https://www.melskitchencafe.com/rustic-crusty-bread-a-simple-how-to/?fbclid=IwAR1pfUZw-Be0sV68x6MwE51elzx_49rAYZsfv8_nyxR2Xgj-SXh2s5RBHOA

This was a hit with my family. We had warm crusty bread. Delicious soup with so much depth of flavor. They gobbled it up.

I hope this post finds you and your family healthy and happy. Please stay safe, wash your hands, and take the precautions you need. Thank you for reading. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. Would you like to see posts about baking breads?

Fuel my body, during COVID-19 shortages…Strawberry Banana Lime Oatmeal Breakfast Bake

Good morning… yup I hear my family fussing about hunger. So here is what I came up with this morning.

This recipe is:

  1. Gluten free if you need it(make sure to get the gluten free oats/means it is processed away from glutenous products)
  2. Can be dairy free
  3. Vegetarian
  4. Can Be Sugar free if you choose sugar alternatives (like Stevia, equal)
  5. Natural Sugar ( Like honey, or agave nectar) or omit the sugar all together.
  6. Has a good amount of protein and fiber to fill your family up.

Right now there is a shortage of eggs in my area. I had to go to 3 stores to find them. A lot of the pre-made or instant items are being taken, so you are left with rolled oats, some produce, milk if you are lucky, but soy, almond, and alternative milks are around.

This is a great recipe for using “ugly” fruit. Fruits and or Veggies that are not the prettiest, and have been picked over, are great in baked items. My banana was going the way of the Dodo, and had some bruises, however, it still baked up just fine.

Luckily for me??? Am I lucky? I am lactose intolerant. So I tend to have alternative milk products around.

I was able to find strawberries, bananas, limes, had coconut milk, and had non instant oatmeal at home.

I decided to make a tropical-ish baked oatmeal breakfast… Can we imagine we are away on a deserted island, I mean we have the isolation part right? Win!

You can make this the night ahead and heat it up in the morning. You can also remove from the pan and wrap completely, and freeze if you have leftovers.


Enough talking here is the recipe:

Strawberry Banana Lime Baked Oatmeal

Ingredients:

  1. 2 cups of rolled oats
  2. 1/3 cup of granulated sweetener ** (or leave it out)
  3. 1 1/2 cups of milk (sub almond, soy, coconut)
  4. 1/2 cups of milk (sub lime juice, orange juice, or water)
  5. 1 tsp baking powder
  6. 1/2 tsp salt
  7. 8 oz/221 grams of Strawberries
  8. 1 each/100 grams ripe banana
  9. 1 egg
  10. 1 lime zested (optional)
  11. 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Set oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Mix the dry ingredients, oatmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, mix in half of the strawberries, and half zest
  3. Grease or spray a 2 quart pan, and put dry ingredients down. Layer fruit on top.
  4. Whisk together wet ingredients, milk, juice, egg, vanilla
  5. Pour wet ingredients over
  6. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, depending on oven. Take it out when top of the oatmeal is browned nicely.
  7. Enjoy hot, or let it cool down and enjoy at room temperature.

I hope you get a chance to try this. It is adaptable to other fruits, and keep in mind it is a great use of fruits that are not the prettiest.

This serves ~ 6 servings. Total calories depends on the ingredients you use. But about 200 to 250 calories.

** Use any type of granulated sugar or sugar substitute that you can measure same as sugar. Honey is sweeter on the pallet. So conversion is 1 cup of sugar to 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup of honey.

Thank you for reading. You can use this time to adapt your goals and try something new. You can still stick to your healthy lifestyle its just going to take some tweaks and ingenuity. Have a great day and stay healthy.

Quick Note: Don’t throw away those squeezed limes. You can slice them up and put those in your water, for lime flavored water.

Fuel my body, during COVID-19 shortages? Berry Chia Coconut Pudding!

I had to make it instagram pretty.

So in this time of toilet paper, and hand sanitizer shortages. Shortages on meat, shelf stable staples (rice, noodles, beans, canned goods), and water. (This is the case at least in the good old U.S.A.) I noticed the foods that are readily available still are the highly processed granola bars, terrible chips/snacks (although those are going quickly too), fresh veggies, and the healthy food section.

I am going to put up recipes in this Fueling My Body During COVID-19 Shortages, that utilize the health foods (such as chia, vegan protein powders, quinoa and the likes), veggies that are getting left behind, and other products it looks like people are not using.

Interesting to note, the first pastas to go were the spaghetti and angel hair pasta. The linguine were left behind, people were not buying it. Do they not know you can still use that pasta in many pasta dishes? Even substitute it in spaghetti dishes. It may not be traditional but it will still feed you and your family.

So for today I made a berry chia coconut pudding. Aside from the coconut milk which I was out of. All these ingredients I regularly have in my pantry. Because I love to use them in my foods.

Enough with the expounding or lets be honest my prattling on, here is the recipe.

Berry Chia Coconut Pudding

Ingredients:

  1. 6 tablespoons/ 60grams of Chia seeds
  2. 1 tablespoon/23 grams of honey
  3. 1/4 cup/20 oz of coconut milk
  4. 1 whole/108 grams of ripe banana
  5. 1 cup/131 grams of frozen berries

Optional Toppings:

  1. 1 tsp/15 grams yogurt (omit for dairy free, vegan)
  2. 2 tbs/20 grams frozen berries
  3. pinch of desiccated coconut

Directions:

  1. Blend together a banana, and a cup of frozen berries. If you need to splash a little coconut milk in it to allow for better pureeing.
  2. Measure out chia seeds, and milk and mix together in a bowl.
  3. Pour in fruit blend. Taste… it is plenty sweet with the fruit, but I wanted a more dessert like taste for this so I added the 1 tbs of honey to the mixture.
  4. If you are going to make it pretty spoon it in to the individual serving cups
  5. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight like I did.
  6. Serve alone, it is delicious, or add berries, yogurt if you have it and desiccated coconut.

Yield: 6 servings

Calories 696, Fat 37 g, Fiber 35.8 g, Carbs 85.1 g, Sodium 9.5 mg,
Protein 14.8 g

1 serving:
Calories 116, Fat 6.2 g, Fiber 6 g, Carbs 14.2 g, Sodium 1.6 mg, Protein 2.5g

It is delicious. My entire family loved it. This is a great thing to make ahead of time, for meal prepping. It will last covered for up to 7 days in the refrigerator, if it lasts that long, because my family will eat it all before 7 days are up.

This is gluten free, vegetarian, and without the yogurt dairy free and vegan.

Lets use this time, when we are unsure of what is happening in our world. When the normal foods we eat are not around, or being snapped up fast. Lets try some new things if this is new to you. If its not help your loved one try out the “new healthy” foods. They may like them, and we will come out of this pandemic hopefully healthier, and with healthier eating habits.

Thank you for reading and I will post more recipes of healthy foods I make with what I can find at the grocery store. Tell me what you think and if you have any questions. Stay kind to each other, and help your neighbors. Stay safe and strong.

Spicy Mango Fruit Bowl

Ok this may seem strange to you, but this is such a tasty snack and healthy to boot. Its full of fiber, vitamins, good fats, and protein. It is gluten free, vegan, and did I mention it is tasty.

Cayenne pepper is so good on tropical fruits. I love the sweet and spicy mixture. My mango was a little under ripe so it was a little more acidic. But just as tasty.

Enough of my jabbering here is the recipe.


Spicy Mango Fruit Bowl

Ingredients:

  1. 1 mango diced
  2. 1 banana
  3. 1/4 cup or 24 grams of roasted almonds
  4. 10 grams of unsweetened tasted coconut
  5. Cayenne pepper to taste (beware the pepper packs a kick)

Directions:

  1. Dice mango up, slice banana, add roasted almonds, sprinkle on the cayenne, sprinkle on the tasted coconut.
  2. Mix together and enjoy

Stats:

Calories 371, Fat 12.9 g, Fiber 8.6 g, Carbs 63.7 g, Sodium 13.5 mg, Protein 8 g


I hope you get a chance to try this. It is one of my favorite snacks. Its a whole food snack, spicy, and tasty. Did I mention that it is easy to make. All you have to do is cut up the fruit. You could make it ahead of time and put it in a reusable container and take it to work with you.

Smoothie Bowl w/ Chocolate PB2 and Honey

Another smoothie day. It is going to be to cold for smoothies soon, so I have to get my smoothie on. I decided to make another smoothie bowl for lunch.

This is gluten free, uses natural sugars, dairy free, vegan, healthy/full of vitamins, and so yummy.

I wanted to get some protein in there. So I added the PB2 Chocolate. It is a chocolate peanut butter powder. It is great on waffles, in waffles, on toast, in smoothies, in shakes, on smoothie bowls. You get the picture I am sure.


Ingredients:

  1. 2 cups of frozen fruit
  2. 1 frozen banana
  3. 1/2 cup almond milk
  4. 2 cups of water

    Toppings:
  5. 2 tbs of PB2 Chocolate Peanut Butter powder
  6. Fruit
  7. 1/2 tbs honey
  8. Pinch of Slivered almonds

Directions:

  1. Blend the frozen fruit till you have tiny pieces, almost looks like rice
  2. Add liquid and blend till smooth
  3. Add toppings and enjoy

Calories 371, Fat 19.2 g, Fiber 14.4 g, Carbs 73.7 g, Sodium 161.5 mg,
Protein 11.1 g


Thank you again for reading. I hope you get a chance to try this.

Make Your Own Tropical Smoothie Bowl

If you have been anywhere in the metropolitan U.S. of A, you will notice that smoothie bowls are a thing. Especially in the summer when its hot and you don’t want to eat something hot. As fall is kicking in and its going to get colder and I don’t know about you but I will want less cold foods and more warm, or warming foods. But since it is still only the fall and summer is still holding on I thought I would post this.

Its easy peasy. Choose a frozen fruit you like, or a mix of them. Have frozen bananas on hand. And choose your toppings. For this one I chose nut and dried fruit mix for the healthy fats, a few dark chocolate chips to feel like I am getting a treat, desiccated coconut, and frozen raspberries.

You are going to blend the frozen fruits till you get tiny chunks of fruit. It kinda looks like confetti. It will look a little like this.

After you get the frozen fruit mix into tiny chunks, you add the liquid. Today I used soy milk and water. Blend again till smooth and you get something that looks like soft serve ice cream.

Tropical Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients:

  1. 2 cups of frozen fruit (this was a tropical fruit mix)
  2. 1 frozen banana
  3. 4 tbs of soy milk
  4. water as needed alternately you can use juice instead

    Topping ingredients
  5. 2 x tbs Nut and fruit mix (I used planters NUT-rition)
  6. 1/4 frozen raspberries
  7. 1 tsp of dark chocolate chips
  8. 2 grams of desiccated coconut

Directions:

  1. blend the frozen fruit till it is in small chunks
  2. add liquid and blend till smooth, add water if needed
  3. put the smoothie in a bowl and add toppings and enjoy.

Calories 426, Fat 11.71 g, Carbs 76.11 g, Protein 9.58 g, Fiber 10.93 g, Total Sugars 50.89 g, Sodium 59.36 mg

I hope you get a chance to try this on your own. Thanks for reading. My respect to you.

Healthy Vegan Snack… Sweet and Spicy Tropical Salad

I wanted a sweet and spicy snack so I “made” this. Made is such a grand word for what I did. I cut up some fruit and put it together added spice, and coconut and ate it. But made it I did. It is beautiful and so very tasty as well. You eat with your eyes first so it if is beautiful, it is more appetizing.


Sweet and Spicy Tropical Salad
Yield 1 serving

Ingredients:

  1. 1 mango diced ( about 2 cups)
  2. 1 dragon fruit diced ( about 2 cups)
  3. 2 tbs desiccated unsweetened coconut
  4. Cayenne Pepper to taste

Directions:

Cut fruit, add to bowl, add cayenne to mango, add unsweetened coconut. Mix and serve.

Calories/Stats

Calories 374, Fat 10.6 g, Fiber 13.7 g, Carbs 71.2 g, Sodium 9.1 mg,
Protein 6.1 g

Thank you for reading. If you get a chance to try it let me know. Be good to yourself, and always strive to make yourself a better you.

Healthy Snack or Dessert…Chocolate Chia Pudding

Looking for a healthy snack or dessert, or if you are me you will eat it for lunch, instead of lunch, cause it is easy and you can just grab it and go. Looking for that chocolate fix. That time when you just want something a little chocolaty, but full of vitamins, fiber and protein. Try this out. Also this is vegetarian, gluten free, and can be vegan if you leave the honey out and replace it with another sweetener.

Chia seeds are amazing…

If you have never had chia seeds before they are an ancient seed, used by the Aztecs and the Mayans. They a jam packed with nutrients, and are simply amazing despite their diminutive size.

“A one-ounce (28 grams) serving of chia seeds contains :

  • Fiber: 11 grams.
  • Protein: 4 grams.
  • Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are omega-3s).
  • Calcium: 18% of the RDI.
  • Manganese: 30% of the RDI.
  • Magnesium: 30% of the RDI.
  • Phosphorus: 27% of the RDI.
  • They also contain a decent amount of zinc, vitamin B3 (niacin), potassium, vitamin B1 (thiamine) and vitamin B2.”

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds#section1

If you want to read up more about them see the link above. There is a lot to love about these tiny power packed seeds. They are high in fiber, contain omega 3 fatty acids (so if you don’t or won’t eat fish, they are a great alternative source), and plant based protein. I will leave you to read about them if you want. On to the recipe.

Chocolate Chia Pudding
yield: two servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cup or 6 oz of Almond milk (you can use, soy, coconut, or even dairy if you want)
  • 2 tbs or 1.4 oz of Honey (or to taste, also if vegan, you can use stevia to taste)
  • 2 tsp or 2 cap full of vanilla ( you can use any extract you like, I often change it up, sometimes adding Kirsh just for a cherry flavor, or Calvados)
  • 4 tbs or 2 oz of chia seeds
  • 2 tbs or 0.66 oz of unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder (note: I use a heaping tbs, cause I like chocolate)
  • Pinch of salt to taste
  • Fruit that you like. (e.g. Berries, apples, oranges, etc.)
  • Mini dark chocolate chips for garnish

Recipe:

  1. Mix all the wet ingredients first
  2. Add the dry and stir till all of cocoa powder is incorporated.
  3. Let set for 15 minutes, then stir again.
  4. Cover with lid and let refrigerate for at least 4 hours. This is great to do overnight.
  5. After set, serve with garnish and fruit.

Calories/Stats

Calories 274, Fat 13.1 g, Fiber 14.5 g, Carbs 40.3 g, Sodium 141.9 mg,
Protein 6.8 g

I also make a version that is a Chai Chia pudding. Try saying that five times.

You have to add the Chai spices to the mix.

1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of ground ginger
1/4 tsp of ground cardamom
1/8 tsp of ground cloves

Let me know if you are interested in any of my other versions. Thanks for reading.

Healthy Lunch… Veggie Noodles with Portabella “meat” Balls

I tend to eat more on the vegetarian side of things then the omnivore side. So my go to food will be a plate full of veggies. This could easily be vegan if you take the mozzarella out. This is gluten free if that is something you are trying to keep an eye on.

Today I wanted zucchini and yellow squash noodles, with portabella veggie “meat” balls, some basil and mozzarella balls. So that is what I made. This was so delicious and satisfying. NOM NOM NOM

I do not try to eat gluten free, but I notice my body tends to react better when I don’t eat to much gluten.

Recipe: Veggie Noodles with Portabella Meat Balls

Ingredients:

  1. 3 portabella veggie balls
  2. 250 g or 1 zucchini, and 1 yellow squash spiral cut
  3. 4 oz or 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  4. 5 mozzarella balls
  5. 1/2 cup or 8 sliced tomatoes
  6. 1/4 cup Sliced onions
  7. 2 tsp garlic olive oil

Directions:

Spiral cut the zucchini, and yellow squash. Cut the onions and saute them in the pan with 2 tsp of garlic olive oil. Add spiral squash noodles. Cook them just till they start to wilt. Remove the veggie noodles to plate. Add veggie balls to the pan and add sauce. Cook till cooked through. Add tomatoes to the sauce and balls. Place them on the noodles. Add the mozzarella balls, and fresh basil.

I did not add any extra salt cause there is plenty in the sauce and in the mozzarella balls.

Calories/Stats

Calories 408, Fat 18.2 g, Fiber 11.5 g, Carbs 35.1 g, Sodium 896.8 mg,

Protein 31.1 g

Thank you for reading, and I hope you get a chance to try this. It was delicious.

Healthy Dinner… Shrimp Spring Rolls with Ginger Peanut Sauce Yessss

You can make these at home, and I did. I made these for my family for dinner. My kids love these and they are super healthy. I made a ginger peanut sauce to go with it.

It may look daunting and the most difficult part is the wrapping of the rolls.

This meal is a bit time consuming but if you have about 45 minutes you can have these ready and tuck in.

This is a recipe that is easily translated to vegan, or vegetarian. This is gluten free, and really very healthy. One roll without the sauce is only 117 calories, and almost no fat.

Ginger Peanut Sauce – (yield: about 16 tbsp)

Tip: You can change this to vegan or vegetarian by using Bragg’s Aminos instead of soy sauce. This gives a similar taste but does not have any animal products.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup or 4 oz of Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp or 0.5 oz of sriracha sauce
  • 1 whole lime juiced
  • 2 tbsp or 1.0 oz of crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp or 0.5 oz of freshly grated ginger
  • 1.5 tbsp 0.75 oz of honey

Directions:

In a bowl stir together soy sauce, sriracha sauce, lime juice, peanut butter, grated ginger, and honey. You can make this ahead of time and use it when you need it.

Calories for 1 tablespoon: Calories 23.75, Fat 1 g, Fiber 0, Carbs 2.9g, Sodium 431 mg, Protein 1.25 g

Calories for total amount of sauce made: Calories 380, Fat 15.8 g, Fiber 3.3 g, Carbs 47.8 g, Sodium 6908.5 mg, Protein 20.1 g

Shrimp Spring Rolls (Yield: about 15 rolls)

Tip: you can change this to vegetarian or vegan by omitting shrimp, and you can change the veggies used in this wrap to those you like. For instance a thinly sliced bell pepper would be delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs or 32 oz of shrimp
  • I package rice noodles
  • 1 package rice paper wrappers
  • 3 grated carrots
  • 1/2 of cucumber grated
  • lettuce of your choosing, I used a mixed greens
  • 1 Jalapenos sliced thin (if you don’t remove the seeds they will be hotter.)

Directions:

Follow the directions on the package of how to cook he noodles. In my case bring water to boil and then add noodles cook for 3 minutes. I rinsed with cold water to stop the cooking, grate the veggies, cook the shrimp. I just boiled them in water. Soften the rice paper wrappers as the package directs.

Assembly:

  • Soak the rice paper just till it starts to get soft. It will be slightly firm still.
  • Layer veggies, shrimp, noodles and lettuce.
  • Fold up the bottom end of the wrap over the filling
  • Wrap the right side over then while tucking the ingredients, roll over the roll and continue wrapping.
  • Fold down the top of the wrapper and it is complete.

This is the calories measurements for 1 wrap: Calories 117, Fat 1.2 g, Fiber 1.3 g, Carbs 21.3 g, Sodium 292.2 mg, Protein 4.9 g

Enjoy! I hope you like these as much as my family and I love them. Let me know what you think if you get a chance to try this.